2014 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for art in County Longford, with three huge projects in the pipeline.
The first of the public art pieces is set to be installed this month.
N5 Bypass Sculpture
Longford County Council’s Public Art Committee commissioned a sculpture for the new N5 bypass, and submissions were made by artists throughout the country and abroad for the project.
In the end, it was Cork artist Alex Pentek who impressed the committee, with a sculpture of a violin, designed to look as though it is embedded in the ground. The piece, which is being fabricated and assembled in the National Sculpture Factory in Cork is a nod to the rich musical heritage of the county.
New Sculpture at St Michael’s Road and Strokestown Road
The second of the public art projects is due to be completed this summer.
This sculpture has been commissioned for the junction of St Michael’s Road and the Strokestown Road. The brief for the piece received a lot of interest, and the adjudication committee were deadlocked in their deliberations so they decided to re-evaluate two short-listed artists, before deciding on the piece. The winning proposal was from the creative partnership of two Dublin brothers Joe and Pat Walker. The Walker Brothers proposal is highly abstract and conceptual in that it will be a casting in stainless steel of the negative space between the letter “I” and “f” in the conjunction “If”. The artists are fascinated by the often un-noticed abstract spaces between letters and the significance of the conjunction “If” is that it opens up the sense of possibility for the entire community of this regenerated urban area.
Sculptures to be Erected in Eight Villages
Last, but certainly not least, the largest of the three projects will see sculptures erected in eight villages throughout Co Longford.
The areas were carefully selected by an adjudication committee, who chose the villages that hadn’t benefited recently from public art.
In the end, Ballymahon, Kenagh, Ardagh, Abbeylara, Granard, Newtownforbes, Drumlish and Aughnacliffe were chosen for the project.
The committee are expecting a good response to the brief, which is seeking an artist to create eight unique pieces, each with a common thematic or design feature.
When all eight pieces are created and installed, they will form a county-wide ‘sculpture trail’. It is hoped that a tourism trail can then be established around the artwork.